Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 10, 2013 8:00am-9:00am PST

8:00 am
01/10/13 01/10/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> in the name of the legitimate government of the commander president who was reelected by the venezuelan people, the leader of this model land, the government open is the decision of the supreme court of justice. their work and their voice is sacred. >> venezuela has postponed today's presidential inauguration as hugo chávez remains hospitalized in cuba. the venezuelan supreme court
8:01 am
says chávez is still president, but the opposition is calling for a caretaker government and elections. we host a debate. a victory in the campaign against stop and frisk. >> going to the store in coming from the store, they're going to stop you. >> they stop about 90% of the people coming in. >> i don't mind the police being here, but not the harassment. >> new york police are not allowed to routinely stop pedestrians outside private residential buildings in the bronx. all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. at least five people have been killed in u.s. drone strike in pakistan earlier today. the strike hit a home in north waziristan. it was at least the seventh u.s. drone strike in less than two weeks. the attack comes as the cia nominee john brennan continues
8:02 am
to come under scrutiny for his role in the obama administration's drone warfare overseas. in his remarks at the time, brennan had said there was not a single collateral death in the previous year of drone attacks. his letter qualified his remarks by saying he had no information to the at the time. it has been revealed the u.s. a massacre at the time convict pakistani concerns directly to the highest levels of the obama white house. the concern centered around a march 2011 strike that killed 42 pakistani, most of them civilians. vice-president joe biden met with gun control advocates at the white house on wednesday as part of his task force on tackling gun violence in the united states. in a welcome message to his guests, biden vowed president
8:03 am
obama would take meaningful action through executive order if need be. >> we are here today to deal with the problem that requires immediate action, urgent action. the president and i are determined to take action. this is not an exercise in a photo opportunity just ask you what your opinions are. we're reaching out to all parties on whatever side of this debate you fall. but the president is going to t. there are executive orders, executive action that can be taken. we have not decided what that is yet, that we are compiling it with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action we believe is required. >> vice president said to me today with representatives of the national rifle association as well as gun retailers, including walmart. new york governor andrew cuomo
8:04 am
has unveiled what he's billed as the toughest gun control legislation in the country in the aftermath of last month's newtown massacre in neighboring connecticut. in an impassioned state of the state address on wednesday, cuomo called for tightening the state ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as new measures to restrict gun sales to those with mental health issues and criminal records. >> and i say to you, forget the extremists. it is simple. no one hunts with an assault rifle. no one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer. and to many innocent people have died already. and the madness now -- end the madness now. make this state safer. save lives. set an example for the rest of the nation. let them look at the york and
8:05 am
say, "this is what you can do." this is what you should do. this is new york, the provincial capital. you show them how we lead. >> the new york that control measure is expected to be approved in the next week with state republicans saying they won't stand in its way. al-assad governor cuomo's beach, an estimated crowd of over 1000 people gathered for protest urging him to reject the drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. cuomo faces a major decision next month when a state moratorium on fracking is set to expire. the demonstrators included legendary folk singer and upstate new york piece singer, who led the crowd and a rendition of the folk classic, "this land is your land." from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters this land was made for you and
8:06 am
me ♪ this land is your land this land is my land from california to the new york islands from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters this plan was made for you and me ♪ >> pc your joining about 1000 people singing "this land is your land." secretary labor hilda solis has announced resignation at a president obama's second term beginning later this month. she is the first latina had a federal agency and known for her public support of unions,io pushing measures including the employee free choice act, which would have removed barriers to unionizing workers. the statement, afl-cio president richard trumka praised her tenure saying --
8:07 am
president obama is reportedly set to nominate his chief of staff, jack lew, to replace timothy geithner at the treasury department for obama's second term jack lew widner geithner in heading treasury after a stint on wall street, working at the financial giant citicorp between 2006 and 2010. the u.n. arab league envoy to syria has issued his strongest words to date against the regime of syrian president bashar al- assad. speaking to bbc news, lakhdar brahimi appeared to endorse al- assad's departure from government as part of any political solution in syria. >> what people are saying, it is a little bit too long. so the change has to be real. i think president assad could for what hislead an
8:08 am
people want, rather than resisting it. >> afghan president karzai is in the u.s. for talks with president obama on u.s. troops levels in afghanistan after the withdrawal deadline of 2014. obama administration officials have recently floated troop numbers ranging from zero to 20,000 after combat operations formally come to an end. karzai kicked off his visit on wednesday by meeting a group of senators. >> the trip has just begun and the meeting over today's the ledge to the days. [indiscernible] afghan president karzai in washington. in india, the identity of the woman who died after being gang raped and mutilated with a metal bar and a moving bus has been publicly revealed.
8:09 am
she was 23 years old when she succumbed to her injuries and after nearly two weeks in hospital last month. the five suspects in her rape and murder appeared in court today for a second time. a member of their defense team is drawing ire after also saying he is never heard of a "respected lady being raped in india." in an interview with bloomberg news, he said -- he blamed the attack on the victim and her male companion, who was also injured, the man was "wholly responsible because the unmarried pair should not have been out on streets at night." at a recent public event in india, the u.s. playwright and activist eve ensler appeared to discuss the response to the case. >> it is a good man her not to
8:10 am
in the raping, if the good man her teaching good things do not rise up and train the other men and educate the other men and work with the other men, we will never end violence against women and girls. it has been very moving to travel across india and meeting such loving, tender men who are with us. >> [indiscernible] we have to look at the roots of this of violence. inequality, injustice, and a very bad system of government. [indiscernible] >> back in the u.s., the insurance giant american international group, or aig, has announced it will not join a shareholders lawsuit against the u.s. government over the terms
8:11 am
of its bailout after news it was considering doing so sparked outrage. reports emerged this week a hajji's board was weighing whether to take part in a suit by former ceo that alleges the companies 2008 bailout shortchanged investors and violated their fit the minute rights. the news to come just two weeks after aig finally repaid the $182 billion in federal money it received to keep it from collapse, prompting a review from lawmakers who want a ig against trying to soothe taxpayers. the military trial of accused army whistleblower bradley manning has been postponed until june to wait a prosecution request to use classified information as evidence against him. on wednesday, prosecutors said it will introduce evidence that shows osama bin laden sought out and received some of u.s. government cables that manning is accused of having released to wikileaks. prosecutors also said it will present transcripts of an online chat between manning and wikileaks founder julian
8:12 am
assange. on wednesday, manning's attorneys renewed their offer for him to plead guilty to passing on the documents to wikileaks if the government drops charges of espionage and aiding the enemy. manning's offer was objecting to a sentence of up to 20 years instead of the life term he faces behind bars. one of the largest pension funds in the country has announced it is divesting from all its holdings in firearms following last month's shooting massacre in newtown, connecticut. the california state teachers retirement system voted unanimously wednesday to unload its roughly $12 million investment in three gun companies including freedom group, the manufacture of the bushmaster semi-automatic rifle that was used in the killing of 20 young children and seven adults in the newtown rampage. pension funds in a number of other states are considering following suit. the website cocker is sparking
8:13 am
controversy for posting the names of every licensed gun owner in new york city. the two and half rural list was obtained through a freedom of information law request from the new york police department. it is 446 pages long and appears to include the names of fox news chief, sean hannity, don imus and donald trump. the cogger's story also notes the names of 1.2 million new yorkers licensed to own guns and many of their dresses have been available online for over two years. cogger's move comes after the new york paper, the journal news, faced a massive backlash for publishing the names and addresses of gun owners in westchester and rockland counties of new york and posting maps of their locations on line. the newspaper had to hire armed guards to monitor its offices after a torrent of threatening emails and phone calls. in france, the co-founder of the
8:14 am
kurdistan workers party or pkk and two other kurdish women actists have been shot dead in paris. there were found dead at a kurdish and permission center. the pkk's leaders have recently began talks with the turkish government in a bid to resolve a longstanding conflict. those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. venezuela has postponed today's president inauguration as hugo chávez remains hospitalized in cuba after complications fromm a fourth cancer operation. the 58-year-old chávez who was first elected in 1998, has not been seen in public nor heard from since his surgery on december 11. the postponement of the inauguration has set off a political crisis in venezuela. on wednesday, venezuela's top court ruled that chávez could begin a new term today and be
8:15 am
sworn in later before the court. by president nicolas maduro who is now in charge of the day-to- day government praised the ruling. >> in the name of the legitimate government of the commander president who was reelected by the venezuelan people, the leader of this model land, the government obeys the decision of the supreme court of justice. their word and their voice is sacred. >> opposition politicians in venezuela have argued the line president chávez's swearingen for new term leaves no one legally in charge of venezuela once the current term ends today. they've called for the appointment of a caretaker president and new elections. henrique capriles, who lost october's presidential election to chávez, took aim at venezuela's judicial system. >> the supreme court decided to
8:16 am
recall -- resolve a problem of the ruling party, so now what to say to the people of venezuela? excuse me for speaking first person, but i'm an example of how one must fight the judicial system that does not work. >> supporters of chávez have called for huge rally outside the presidential palace in caracas today. allied leaders from uruguay, bolivia, nicaragua are expected to attend. meanwhile, the washington post reports the obama administration has embarked on a discreet but concerted weeks long diplomatic initiative to open channels of communication with the venezuelan government and the absence of chávez. in 2002, chavez survived a coup that toppled him briefly. he has long asserted that coup was orchestrated by the united states. >> for more in venezuela, we're joined by michael shifter, president of the inter-american dialogue and an adjunct professor of latin american politics. from claremont, california,
8:17 am
we're joined by miguel tinker salas, a professor of pomona college. born in venezuela, author of, "the enduring legacy: oil, culture and society in venezuela." his new book forthcoming is called, "venezuela: what everyone needs to know." michael shifter and miguel tinker salas, we welcome you both to "democracy now!" michael shifter, talk about what is not happening today, the inauguration, and what you feel needs to take place, which side you take. >> thank you very much. i think it is not a surprise the inauguration is not taking place today. i think president chun is clearly is very ill. i think there are going to be new elections. i think the government basically wants some time to figure out its strategy, to consolidate the authority of nicholas maduro, who is the key figure now and i think will be the candidate of the government in the elections against henrique capriles. i don't know if it will take
8:18 am
place in a month or two months, but that seems to be the scenario and it strikes me the important thing in the situation are the politics, the top as government controls the executive obviously. the judicial branch and also the national assembly are controlled by chávez. they want an election in october from a regional elections in december. chávez has enormous compassion, generates sympathy among the venezuelan people. the government has the upper hand. as we just heard, henrique capriles is beginning to come out and make statements because i think people are getting ready for an election. i think the government probably has the edge, but that is the situation we are in. >> miguel tinker salas, you have questioned whether there is a constitutional crisis as much as the press reporting has made out, or whether this is really more a strategy of the opposition and external opponents of the chávez government. could you talk about that?
8:19 am
>> sure. if this was any other country, we would not be having this conversation. those constitutions are very similar to the venezuelan constitution, which clearly states in article 231 a president cannot be inaugurated a for the national assembly on january 10, he or she can be sworn in and a subsequent time before the supreme court. the issue is that a constitutional crisis. although i think the opposition would like to create a constitutional crisis and we're seeing a lot of that and the national and international press. in venezuela, there is a transition, no doubt about it, but the opposition would like to strike while the iron is hot. they see the chávez movement possibly week. they have lost to subsequent elections. they're looking for an opportunity to expand our base of support. their challenges, the have cut their nose to spite their face. in the past, they have engaged
8:20 am
in a series of undemocratic actions and are risking at this point also drawing on the sympathy vote that chávez will have. i think they're in a precarious position, but i don't think of a constitutional crisis in venezuela. i think we have a series of positions that are try to precipitate one. >> we're going to come back to this discussion and talk about what hugo chávez has meant for venezuela for over a decade. we're speaking with miguel tinker salas and michael shifter. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
8:21 am
>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. our guests are michael shifter and miguel tinker salas. >> michael shifter, you said you
8:22 am
expect there will be at some point of the next few months and election for a successor to chávez. looks likely that way. before chávez went into the hospital, he anointed nicolás maduro, the appointed vice president, not the elected vice- president, as his preferred successor. the constitution says if he is incapacitated, should be the head of the national assembly who takes office. could you talk about these two figures and the differences between them, proceed either by the opposition or even within the chávez camp? >> i think they're the two principal figures. nicholas maspeero is someone who previously was a union leader. -- nicholas maduro is someone who was previously the union leader. he is close, strong contacts with the cuban government.
8:23 am
cabello is a military figure. as a very different background than maduro does. but for the purposes -- they are the leading figures. chávez was the only figure that cod really unified whole movement. because of his charisma, his authority, and just his astute political operations he was able to do that. no figure comes close to him. these are the two principal one the remain. maduro will be the candidate because chávez has designated it as such, but cabello will play at a important role. the armed forces is an important institution in venezuela. chávez came from the armed forces as does cabello. you'll see a situation where you have to work out deals and agreements and understandings led by maduro, but also cabello would be planning an important role. to the extent they could keep this together over time, i think
8:24 am
is a major question. chávez was uniquely capable of doing that, especially if there's a very acute economic crisis. fiscal pressssures. you may begin to see some very serious infighting among the different factions of the tavis movement, which would weaken the capacity of the government to sustain itself. >> professor miguel tinker salas, can you respond? also, talk about the significance of hugo chávez, what you think he has met for venezuela. >> finally, chávez has changed the landscape. it is not just chávez. when chavis was elected, venezuela was at a crisis point. people have lost all faith in the political apparatus. there was social discontent. over 85% of the population thought the national government had mishandled the will bank the economy and society. java's brought the weight of
8:25 am
tremendous the -- hugo chávez has transformed the political landscape along with the social movement. i don't think there's any going back in venezuela. the illusion that they can return to a pre hugo chávez era are gone. not only has he helped transform venezuela, but his impact on latin america has been significant. it speaks to his impact and latin america. i think it has been significant in terms of the creation of a series of forums. in terms of maduro and cabello, they have to size the company to other to an important extent. maduro comes out of the social movement, a student leader, the union leader. he has been in the national assembly and helped draft the
8:26 am
constitution. cabello comes out of the traditionalists. you have had a progressive military dating back to the 1950's and 1970's who have taken sides with social movements. both of them in many ways complement each other in projecting future chávez movement in venezuela. >> and the importance of what happens in venezuela, the people forget that venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, > even saudi arabia. therefore, it has an enormous impact on oil politics across the planet. could you talk about that and how hugo chávez used that will lead to further social lance his revolution? >> everything back where venezuela was before 1998, we hardly heard about venezuela.
8:27 am
it was always for being with the u.n. and the u.s. there are known for having a supply of will bank, a good baseball players, winning the miss universe contest on a regular basis for it other than that, venezuela did not have a big footprint on the international map. that changed with chávez. it changes because of the social policy, the fact one of the first policies he implemented around 2001 began to reexamine welding policy and found a tremendous amount of the oil venezuela had in reserves was s being classified reserveshale. -- classified as shale. revising and reclassifying the reserves has in fact given venezuela the largest oil bank deposit in the world with potentially much more oil in the future, which means that venezuelas role in terms of oil and rick buttressing opec and
8:28 am
establishing energy alliances and that america had been published latin america have been phenomenal. taking those reserves and implementing social programs. granted the opposition will claim the money is being misspent, but the reality is for venezuelans on the ground, it has improved their lifestyle. there has been food programs, health programs, aid for pregnant mothers, pension plans. there has been a new housing program responsible for 20% growth in construction, which is giving venezuela 5.5 growth during 2012. we have seen a dramatic change and that is what gives the hugo chávez movement support, and continues to fuel much of the chávez movement and process. >> michael shifter, you have been critical of some of this economic growth and have raised the issue in some of your writings that it has been --
8:29 am
that chávez fail to diversify the economy. there is the reality venezuela has the lowest income inequality in latin america. could you expand on some of your concerns about the economic development that has occurred under chávez? >> i think the results of hugo chávez, in this day and age, you have a system of governance and a model where one person makes all of the decisions as we have seen in 14 years under chávez, it is very hard to deliver effective results. oil production has declined dramatically in venezuela and venezuela has fair to -- failed to diversify. the production of oil has gone down rid venezuela imports everything, does not produce anything. this is an economy is really dependent on a single
8:30 am
commodity, not performing well. very little investment, very little coming into the country. we have seen the results of the highest inflation in latin america. we all know from latin american history that inflation affects, hits the poor the hardest. it has been enormously high fiscal deficit. it is true the well-being of those in venezuela has improved since 1998 when hugo chávez can in. when he came in, oil was $10 a barrel. now it is well over $100. he has really written this tremendous increase in the price of oil, and really had a tremendous opportunity because of his charisma, because of his connection with venezuelan people, and the money he had to spend. but the fact that he has really made all the decisions himself
8:31 am
and has discouraged a lot of private investment has been very confrontational, very much of a polarizing figure, he has not left latin america more united. it is true that america is much more self confident, has but it ispride -- i also a region with a lot of discord. beennk chávez has responsible for that situation as well. >> in december 2009, i caught up with president chávez for few minutes at the u.n. climate change summit in copenhagen. i asked him what level of emissions reductions he was willing to support. >> 100%. 100%. we must reduce emissions 100%. in venezuela, the emissions are significant compared to those in
8:32 am
developing countries. we are in agreement. we must reduce all of the missions that are destroying the planet. -- we must reduce all of the emissions that are destroying the planet. that requires a change in lifestyle, a change in status. >> how you throw away capitalism? >> the way they did it in cuba. that is the way. the same way we're doing in venezuela. giving the power to the people and taking it away from the economic elites. you can only do that through revolution. >> i also asked president chávez what he thought of the u.s. government calling him a dictator. >> i laugh.
8:33 am
i laugh. it is the empire calling me a dictator. i am happy. i remember don quote with sancho. and the dogs start to bark and sancho says, they are going to bit us. he answers, take it easy. if the dogs are barking, it is because we are galloping. i will be very sad and worried if the interest government was calling me a great democratic man. no, it is them. it is the emperor who attack those who are contributing to the real democracy. >> that was president chávez in copenhagen in december 2009.
8:34 am
the make it to the response of professor miguel tinker salas to that. >> i think there has been an effort in venezuela to promote green energy, promote environmental causes. there's a lot more to do. venezuela is very wasteful in terms of oil. cars consume a tremendous amount of carbon monoxide there is the beginning consciousness about the environment, of a legacy of 100 years in the oil industry that has really damaged the environment. there's a lot to be done in terms of the country. but what was said previously, the venezuelan deficit is not out of line with the rest of latin america. public debt is less than the last fiscal that is less than 7.8% from a public that is about 45%, wait in line with latin america.
8:35 am
latin america is more united than ever before. it 12 years ago you did not have the union of the line unions. you did not have latin americans resolving own internal affairs as was the case in bolivia and part of bolivia's right wing attempt to separate from bolivia and to the president of chile creating or calling for a meeting of presidents and making a declaration about the integrity of bolivia. i think it speaks to the fact latin america is confident in ways we have never seen before. i think venezuela has played in a court ruling that as an advocate to regional integration. >> michael shifter, what about these changes at the regional level of venezuela that helped spearhead? and also when you mentioned they have not diversified in terms of oil as a main source of income, they have diversified where there will bancos, something like 600,000 barrels a day of venezuelan oil goes to china as opposed to the united
8:36 am
states or western europe. your sense of how the impact of venezuela on regional politics? >> first of all, with oil, it is true there is some that goes to china, but not nearly as much as -- when tavis came in, he claimed he was going to do a lot more in diversifying the market. the fact is venezuela is still heavily dependent on the u.s. market and because of the crude oil, because of the refinery system, it is closer, cheaper, and for a variety of reasons -- that is the main contradiction of the whole u.s.-venezuelan relationship. while political relations have been tense and fall of strain, the oil keeps flowing and venezuela keeps selling and the united states keeps buying it. i think that is a situation where the shift in the market really has not happened very much. i don't see -- if one looks at these regional organizations,
8:37 am
there is no question there has been increasing independence, distancing from the u.s., from latin america, especially south america, which has to do with other factors besides hugo chávez. chávez has been part of it. the rising commodity prices, the role of brazil has been extremely significant. but if one looks at a lot of issues on economic question and political questions, there are tremendous frictions between many latin american countries. there's a lot of discord, conflicts between chile and peru, conflicts between a lot of different countries on different issues. there are trade problems between argentina, chile and brazil today. so i don't think the fact these organizations exist and have existed for a couple of years, is still remains to be seen how effective there going to be. they are very new.
8:38 am
i think there are a lot of differences, and i think hugo chávez has been a polarizing force that has led to a lot of fragmentation in latin america. i see a more self kopit region, a more assertive region with greater pride -- more self kopit region, a more assertive region with great pride, but it is also fragmented. he is benefactor contributed to that as well. >> were interviewed nicolas maduro in october 2007 when he then served as hugo chávez foreign minister. it was a year after chávez had famously referred to then president george w. bush as the devil in a speech before the united nations saying -- "the devil came here yesterday, it smells like sulfur today." >> our message is, first of all to draw balance of what has
8:39 am
happened over the last month in the world, what happened in the world. the role of the united nations to guarantee how much the world has lost as a result of these crazy policies [indiscernible] our message remains the same. the world should open their eyes. the u.s. society should react. the u.s. people can do a lot for peace, stability and the planet, for the recovery of the planet. the awareness in the world today is also expressed in the
8:40 am
united states. we need a large alliance between the u.s. people and the peoples of the world's. cultural diversity, different ways to see the world. establishing a relationship of the quality, that is the main message. >> venezuelan foreign minister, current vice president nicholas maturo, speaking to us when he was foreign minister in 2007 in new york city. miguel tinker salas, talk about what the u.s. relationship has been with chávez, both under bush and now under president obama and where maduro fits into that. >> as you said, maduro has been the foreign minister.
8:41 am
he has been important and re- establishing our relationships with nearby colombia, credited with mending fences at a time when a previous demonstration which was very confrontation and almost came to breaking relationships. that relationship has been buttressed. in that sense, maduro has played an important role in managing been as well as form relationships with china, with the countries of the region -- managing venezuelas relationships with china, with countries of the region. we will see the different presidents of latin america visiting speaks to the fact it has gained new prominence, speaks to the fight hugo chávez's policy reinterpreted venezuela into latin america. in 1998, venezuela did not look south, it only looked north.
8:42 am
it looked abroad. i think the election of hugo chávez forest in inward look into venezuela and a lot of self reflection about venezuelas relationship with the rest of the continent, the region, back to what some call its bolivians roots. i think that is been an important contribution. there is a sense today in venezuela of its position within latin america, reclaim its status, and i think that is very, very important context of latin america and his latin american relations. that has formed out the u.s. has treated venezuela. the bush administration policies under connelly's the rise was to inoculate from a venezuela -- under condoleezza rice was to inoculate from venezuela. the obama administration promised a lot, but delivered little. we've seen very much a continuity between bush and obama. one is heartened to hear in november the u.s. and venezuela
8:43 am
opened up back channels and began a conversation about the possibility of establishing new relationships and exchanging ambassadors. i think that is positive. >> miguel tinker salas, in the next few days and weeks, what will you be looking for in terms of signs of what is going to happen in venezuela? clearly, the government has taken the position only if president chávez is out of commission for 90 days and then they can renew that for another 90 days, so basically 180 dayperiod for he to be incapacitated where it would then be forced to take action in terms of new elections. talk about what you're looking for. >> i think we will see the opposition continue the campaign, claim there is a constitutional crises. i think there will see if they can create -- if divisions exist. none have been evident, but i
8:44 am
think it will continue to play on contradictions and place the international media campaign and pressure to try to pick venezuela in the midst of a crisis. let me underscore this is a part of a process for the last 14 years. we as in an opposition for 14 years has been projecting the this one on the present as of the crisis. the reality is, life goes on on a normal basis. most venezuelans operate regardless of what the opposition of the government is saying. i expect to see a process, a transition. we are increasingly beginning to see what it would look like without chávez, but i don't see the country entering a crisis or on the edge of our present this. i think that it's a lot of this course being said by the opposition and picked up by the international media. >> michael shifter, how would you see the next few weeks or months, recalling that all of
8:45 am
these forecasts that once fidel castro passed from the scene that cuba would change dramatically, but that does not seem to have happened so far? >> i think, my sense is that there is one to be an election. i think we're in a time when the government is trying to consolidate its position, assert its authority. my sense is maduro will be the key figure. i also have the sense that the government does not want to wait too long to have elections. i think they have the advantage the election to take place sooner rather than later. i think they have the edge against the opposition. the opposition is demoralized after its defeat in october and december. they are operating in thee context where chávez is clearly -- i cannot imagine hugo chávez is going to come back. he may resign in the next couple of weeks i think or at least to
8:46 am
indicate he really is not in any position to resume the office of the presidency. so the elections will take place, that is why chávez designated maduro. he acknowledged that himself. i think there are serious profound problems in venezuela, and i think the economic problems, security problems, other problems -- chávez spent a lot of money in the campaign to win in october. i think there is a serious fiscal and balance, a fiscal deficit. i think you're probably be a devaluation of some sort or economic measures that will need to be taken if maduro is elected the next president. but i don't see any imminent collapse or crisis. i think the chávez government is in a strong position in the opposition has not been doing well recently, and certainly
8:47 am
suffered a big blow in october and december. but i think if one looks from now until eight months or year from now, it is one of the interesting to see what extent what the government will look like without chávez, maintaining its unity, may be serious differences between cabello and maduro and other leaders in the chávez group, particularly within the context of a very acute economic problems. so that is what i would look for a longer term. in the shorter term, i think the chávez government is in a very strong position. >> i want to end on a historical note going back in time a decade ago, an excerpt of a documentary made by two filmmakers in caracas during the attempted coup of 2002, the film was called "the revolution will not be televised." the exit begins with then white house press secretary ari fleischer. >> let me share with you the
8:48 am
administration's thoughts about what is taking place in venezuela. the actions occurred by the chávez government suppressed peaceful demonstrations, fired on peaceful protesters resulting in 10 killed and 100 wounded. that is what took place. a transitional government has been installed. >> members of china's government have managed to communicate with international television networks, getting back through via tv that chávez has not resigned. the palace guard would remain hugo chávez reacted the plan was for the guard to take a key position to surround the palace and wait for a given signal. with all their positions secured, the signals were given
8:49 am
and the presidential guard moved in. several members of the newly installed government were taken prisoner, but in the confusion, the generals had managed to slip away. as the guards secured the building, chávez ministers who have been in hiding for the last few days began to arrive back at the palace to establish the legitimate cabinet. >> that is a clip from the documentary, "the revolution will not be televised." we will continue to follow venezuela as hugo chávez remains ill with cancer in cuba. we want to thank miguel tinker salas and michael shifter. this is "democracy now!,", the war and
8:50 am
peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we'll look at a challenge to the stop and frisk program in new york. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
8:51 am
>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> turn now to relent and a federal court that's dealt a major setback in the new york city police tactic known as stop and frisk. on tuesday, u.s. district judge scheindlin of southern district of new york, ruled police are not allowed to routinely stop pedestrians outside a private residential buildings in the bronx. the stops are part of the so- called clean hall's program, which has prompted allegations of police harassment by some residents who say they're being accosted outside of the buildings in which they live. previous data on the new york police department's stop and frisk policy has shown african- american and latino men make up
8:52 am
a hugely disproportionate share of those stopped. these are some of the voices of bronx residents who either joined or supported the lawsuit in a video made by the new york civil liberties union. >> this is the entrance where we come in and where my son also comes in. i have to come to my bedroom window which is on the inside of the courtyard to make sure he gets passed safely to run this way to come to my kitchen window, which is up there to make sure that he gets through this place safely, then go to my hall door to make sure he gets upstairs without being stopped and harassed by police. >> you have to walk on eggshells. >> it is not an unpleasant experience. it is embarrassing people call it fort knox but nobody wants to visit you. >> when we saw police, we don't want to talk to you because all we see is you abusing as critics where taxpayers, work hard, and
8:53 am
we deserve some kind of respect. >> you have a lot of innocent bystanders. people that wrote end -- people feel they are being harassed. nobody wants to come home, get up and go to work and go through that. >> in related news, the bronx district attorney's office announced in september that it would refuse to pursue trespassing charges against people arrested at bronx public housing projects unless the arresting officer submits to an interview. officials found police had provided written statements indicating people were guilty of trespassing, even thovh they later turned out to be innocent. >> "democracy now!" invited the new york police to come to join us on the program but declined saying the case is ongoing. we're joined by molly kovel shias staff attorney with the bronx defenders. her clients are residents of the bronx who were illegally stopped by new york police as part of operation clean halls.
8:54 am
rajoy and on the phone by abdullah turner who's building is enrolled in the clean halls program -- we're also joined on the phone by abdullah turner who's building is enrolled in the clean halls program. we welcome you both to "democracy now!" molly, talk about the significance of this federal judge ruling. >> it is very significant. this is the first true declaration by a federal judge that the stop and this program routinely violates people in new york's rights. the stop and frisk program routinely takes a young black and latino men off the street -- >> how many are arrested? 600-700,000? >> 700,000 stops in 2011. in 2012, the number has gone down some, but i don't think the final numbers are out yet. >> in reading the decision of the judge, judge scheindlin also
8:55 am
referred quite extensively to the bronx district attorney's office qualms over how the police word connecting these investigations, which is really unusual. >> extremely unusual. i don't know another case for the district attorney's office was testifying against the police department's the bronx district attorney has seen far too many cases be dismissed by judges who were furious that the police officers in those cases had either lied to district attorneys about whether a person had been stopped or what kind of investigation police officers have been doing, and there were furious people were being stopped on suspicion of trespassing merely for being outside a building that was enrolled in this program. >> this program called clean halls? >> yes. they're a thousand buildings in new york city, 3000 of them are in the bronx. private landlords sign up for patrol by the nypd. the police commissioner calls
8:56 am
this a doorman function or says the police are providing the same level of safety as a private doorman. that is ridiculous. four men do not carry guns and open, plain view. they do not throw it up against the wall or a rescue for no reason. >> abdullah turner, tell us what happened to you. >> good morning. i was on my way to a party with a friend of mine. she came to my house and will be up to go to this party. we said goodbye to everyone in the house and made our way to the party. it took us some time because we were talking. once we got to the building, she told me she had returned a sweater to someone else who lived in the building next door. i waited for her outside. she went in the building and i was on the phone with a friend rick wallace talking on the phone -- with a friend. one was talking on the phone, i did not see the police approach.
8:57 am
they got out of the car. one of them snatched my fun but i look to see who was and it was a police officer. he was like, do you live here? i told him, no, i am waiting for a friend of mine upstairs she is returning a sweater and we're on our way to a party in the next building. >> he asked me for my id and other questions. i answered his questions and gave him my id. he took my id and a cellphone and into the building with another officer. i was outside with a third officer who continued questioning into my friend came out. my friend asked them what was going on. i said that was my friend i was waiting for. he radioed to the other officer telling him that he got the french. they came outside immediately and the officer who snatched my phone started asking her questions. she answered his questions and gave her id and they set all the
8:58 am
stuff they had to say. they searched her, separated us, had her against the wall and moved me to a car in front of the building. there he pointed to a sign that said operation clean hall and asked if i knew what it meant. i said i did not. he then told me i was trespassing. i said, how can i be trespassing if i am outside the restaurant he told me always wanted jill. he tilted turnaround and he hand cupped me. >> what happened next? >> we would to the precinct, i met the lawyer molly kovel. and i met my lawyer and then back and forth to court like eight to nine times. >> very quickly, what is this court ruling for the overall stop and frisk program? what it sets the tone at the stop and frisk program is on notice for being unconstitutionally broad and filing for them rights systematically. there is a long way to go with
8:59 am
this is an incredible first that. >> thank you for being with us. we will have a link to the column of juan gonzalez at the new york daily news writing new york daily news writing